WASHINGTON – In a sign that the electric vehicle market is maturing, a key industry group has taken the first pass at an EV standards roadmap that will tackle technical issues such as developing an interoperable charging infrastructure for emerging plug-in EVs.
Version 1.0 of the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) roadmap for EV standards seeks to identify and evaluate existing rules of the road for plug-in EVs and determine where there are gaps in technical specs. ANSI is working with several auto makers along with a host of cleantech companies and utilities focusing on smart grid deployment. Among the automotive electronics specialists participating in the EV standards effort are ST Microelectronics and Sony Electronics. Qualcomm is also listed as a participant.
ANSI said it hopes to enlist more battery manufacturers along with large municipal and commercial fleet owners that are expected to boost adoption of plug-in EVs. So far, battery makers Magna E-Car, Delphi and Siemens have signed on to the standards effort.
Jim McCabe, ANSI’s senior director for standards facilitation, said the group hopes to capitalize on the momentum generated by President Obama’s goal of 1 million EVs on the road by 2015. The standards roadmap represents an attempt to explore technical issues like an EV charging infrastructure “at a deeper dive level,” McCabe said.
While maintaining the EV roadmap as a “living document” that reflects technology advances, McCabe said he expects a full revision of the roadmap to be issued in the next 12 to 18 months. ANSI hopes to keep pace with technology development as a way to promote innovation in EV development, he added.
In the interim, the group wants to work with European partners to coordinate EV, charging station and others standards to ensure greater interoperability and safety. One goal would be to ensure that a variety of plug-in electric vehicle models could use any recharging station.
ANSI’s effort also includes the IEEE, the National Institute for Standards & Technology and other federal agencies like the Energy Department, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and several national laboratories. McCabe said the group also hopes to enlist state and local governments in standards development.
The Energy Department, which is spearheading related efforts like battery technology development, is also assisting the standards effort with demonstration projects and technical expertise.
While ANSI seeks to broaden participation in its plug-in EV standards effort, McCabe said it is “looking forward to hearing back from stakeholders” about the roadmap. Along with addressing safety and interoperability issues, the standards effort will seek ways to reduce the overall cost of EVs. High sticker prices for first-generation plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, for example, have limited sales.
Another barrier to consumer acceptance has been EVs’ relative lack of performance compared to conventional vehicles power by internal combustion engines. “The ability to extend the driving range of EVs on a single battery charge without the need for range extension is largely due to energy storage capabilities [batteries] and a function of technology development,” ANSI said in a preamble to the roadmap.
Coordination on standards development is generally viewed as a key step in the transition from technology development to deployment. One reason is that standards reduce market uncertainty, thereby encouraging manufactures to invest in emerging markets. Experts point to the explosion of IT markets after standards were established as an example.
Coordinating to replace proprietary specs with technical standards will provide greater certainty in emerging cleantech markets, observers said. The ANSI effort “is good for the overall transition to EVs,” said a spokesman for Better Place, a cleantech group that is promoting the transition to electric vehicle technology.
Click here to see Version 1 of ANSI's EV standards roadmap.
Its very important to standard committee to jump in the initial stages of any technology development that is going to impact many humans. Soon we will have more concise and clear standards for EV car manufacturers.
The opening claim that standards development is a sign that the electric vehicle market is maturing is very disconcerting given the current status of the market and especially sales where we see established automobile manufacturers struggling to stay in the EV business. Standards are very important in enabling consumer acceptance but do not necessarily indicate a mature industry. Hopefully, standards here will help EVs gain traction in the market and we'll see greater acceptance.
ANSI itself doesn't develop standards. We accredit the procedures of standards development organizations like SAE International where battery manufacturers and other subject matter experts determine the technical content of the standard. The ANSI EVSP roadmap identifies an interoperability gap with respect to the dimensional and mechanical aspects of batteries in the context of battery swapping stations.
You've hit on a key theme of the roadmap--the need for a widely available charging infrastructure. Also identified as a gap is the need to complete work on fast charging standards. The ANSI EVSP roadmap identifies the standards and related conformance programs needed to achieve the safe, mass deployment of EVs. That will only happen if EVs meet consumer expectations for safety, affordability, interoperability, performance and environmental impact. Standards are key to consumer acceptance and the growth of this industry.
Unfortunately there are so many types and sizes of batteries are in the market along with that a variety of vehicles with different sizes and power are available in the automotive segment. I think it will be too early for ANSI to come with a standard that can be made acceptable to all the manufacturers.
The current delivering capacity of the EV charging source is a topic that I don't often hear discussed. At plug-in, the vehicle and the outlet must compare their relative capacities and then identify the optimal combination. Pure electric cars (e.g. Fisker Karma) may be able to accept much more power than is available from many circuits. This means that they'll charge slower than they could have. When public EV systems are being wired, they should plan ahead for higher charge rates in the future as battery technologies improve. High source amperage is a key factor.
One of the important factors is consumers need somebody to tell them that their brand new vehicle won't be obsolete a couples year from the time of buying. Interconnect and charging related standards will definitely help consumers to build confidence. IMO, the most crucial driving factor is the wide availability of charging stations. Quick charging time will definitely help as well. I am spoiled. I don't want to stand in the charging station for 20+ minutes to get my car charged up.
What's your criteria of acceptance of EV vehicle?
Technical standards are not gee-whizzy, but they are essential to deploying new technologies. Cleantech and electric vehicles are a case in point. Once more standards are in place, we'll begin to see more EVs on the road.